PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — It’s official: Ed Cooley is heading to Georgetown.
After a week of speculations, the Providence College (PC) men’s basketball head coach has decided to take a new job leading the rival Hoyas.
Cooley’s decision marks an unprecedented move in Big East conference history. The Providence native, where the league was formed in 1979, is the first head coach to make an intraconference move.
Cooley said in a statement Monday he is grateful to PC for their support and the experience of working with the athletic community there.
“I plan on hitting the ground running, getting to work on the court and cultivating relationships in and around the district,” Cooley said of the new position. “Accepting this opportunity with Georgetown is not a decision I took lightly, and was made in careful consideration with my wife and family.”
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PC announced they would start a national search for his replacement “immediately.”
“To our fans, let me state this without equivocation: We remain committed to competing at the highest level of men’s basketball,” PC President Rev. Kenneth Sicard said in a statement. “Our facilities, our fan support, and our record of success demonstrate the impact of that commitment, and I have full confidence that we will identify and hire a new coach who will build on this strong foundation and lead Friar basketball to continued excellence on a national level.”
In a 12 Sports exclusive, Cooley previously said that if he made the decision to move, it had nothing to do with Providence, its program, players or administration.
At the end of last season, Cooley signed a multi-year contract extension to remain head coach of the Friars. Because of that contract, Georgetown reached out to PC last week asking for permission to speak with Cooley.
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Cooley will be replacing the since-departed Patrick Ewing, who was fired after six seasons coaching the Hoyas.
Cooley came to coach Providence in 2011 and has compiled a 242-153 record, leading the Friars to seven NCAA Tournament appearances, a trip to the Sweet 16, a 2022 Big East regular season title and a 2014 Big East Tournament title.
Before coming to PC, Cooley, a Rhode Island native, was twice named Rhode Island’s Player of the Year during his days at Central High School. He then played college basketball at Stonehill in Easton, Massachusetts.
He then became an assistant coach at Stonehill, UMass Dartmouth, University of Rhode Island and Boston College before becoming head coach at Fairfield University in 2006.
PC Athletic Director Steve Napolillo told 12 News Cooley notified them Monday morning he would leave the program. The college has not named an interim coach yet.
“I think anytime you have someone of Coach Cooley’s personality and what he accomplished, obviously there’s going to be some sadness,” Napolillo said. “But he made a decision. He is his own man. His family made a decision.”
Napolillo focused on the future of the program, saying the college is prepared to be successful after Cooley leaves.
“When I took this job, I knew the challenges ahead,” Napolillo said. “This will define my career for the next three to five years. If I make the right hire, I’ll be a rock star. If I don’t, everybody will want me fired.”
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